Weekly Roundup: Not Up For Debate Edition

Do you suppose that there was a single voter in all of the United States who changed his (or her) mind about anything after watching the Vice-Presidential debate? Why, it’s almost too ridiculous to consider such a prospect. This wasn’t a true debate, any more than the Presidential one that preceded it was a debate. It was a gladiatorial contest, a football game, a NASCAR race — all the things that boil down to My Tribe Vs. Your Tribe. A fly landed on Mike Pence’s hair. This was very bad, and suggested that Pence was a robot or possibly a human garbage dump. (When it happened to Mrs. Clinton in 2016, the same sources said it was an auspicious sign of emotion.) Oh, and Pence also interrupted Harris quite a bit, yet Harris managed to pull off the trick of speaking for longer than her opponent. Who knows how that was done?

What fascinates me most about this election is the seemingly unequal puissance on display between the two tribes. Biden/Harris has

  • all the corporations
  • all the celebrities
  • all the artists
  • all the musicians
  • all the rich people whose faces you could identify (which is to say, not Sheldon Adelson or Charles Koch)
  • all the media besides Fox News
  • all the social media besides some seedy corners of Facebook
  • a massive and formidably-funded Action Directe street army capable of burning a dozen cities on a whim in a single evening with virtually no effective opposition
  • all minority voters
  • most women voters
  • all young voters
  • Black Lives Matter
  • George Soros
  • everyone who lives in a city
  • everyone who is willing to disclose their voting position at work, at social events, or on social media
  • everyone who is voting by mail
  • everyone who is voting early

Trump/Pence has

  • the people who do the “boat parades”
  • monster-truck owners
  • bad cops
  • third-tier country-music singers and cable-TV stars
  • some, but not all, of the “Proud Boys”
  • people who have pictures of firearms in their social media
  • and that’s it

This doesn’t seem like it’s going to be much of a fight. Yet you have Mrs. Clinton already saying that Biden should not concede the election under any circumstances, which is another way of saying that the election will be settled by means other than the counting of votes. A shadowy organization calling itself the “Transition Integrity Project” held wargames in June to simulate using the military to remove Donald Trump from the White House should Trump choose to take Mrs. Clinton’s advice on his own behalf.

It seems difficult to imagine that the infinitely wealthy and supremely powerful Biden/Harris juggernaut might be derailed by the actions of a few million little people who pull a lever in a booth somewhere. Which in turn makes one suspect that nothing short of a 1984 Reagan landslide for one candidate or the other will see the election eventually decided in the courts, in the streets, or by the military. Since that’s unlikely to happen, we have a long few months ahead of us. What will the country look like when we come out on the other side?

* * *

For Hagerty, I reviewed a McLaren GT, offered a positive opinion on the future of enthusiast cars, and discovered a V-12 Lexus that never was.

54 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: Not Up For Debate Edition”

      • Newbie Jeff

        The irony of Democrats’ obsession with trying to tie Trump to Putin is that now the Russians really can influence our elections with $50k of FB ads… all they have to do is pick their “preferred” candidate, and “help” that candidate’s opponent. Make sure that US media picks up on the story, and then sit back and watch the “Russia collusion” allegations tear the country apart.

        • phr3dly

          Are either of you actually doubting that Russia interfered with the 2016 election in a major way? Did you read the report from the senate intelligence committee? You should. Even the Rs couldn’t hide this. I mean criminy Donald Trump’s campaign manager was in constant contact with a literal Kremlin spy, who also held meetings with others in the Trump family and campaign. This isn’t conspiratorial, this is documented.

          No, what is absolutely *remarkable* is that despite the accepted, acknowledged, and understood election meddling that occurred 4 years ago, neither the President nor Congress has done anything to address it. And it’s happening again. Quel surprise.

          But no, let’s get back to our “Where’s Hunter” chants. Surely that’s much more relevant.

          Oh, and regarding Hillary’s “don’t concede” quote: There’s only one candidate in this election who has refused to say he’d accept the result of an election in which he loses.

          • stingray65

            phr3dly – yes there is only one candidate in this election who has refused to say he’d accept the result if he loses. It is the same one who’s 2016 opponent and her party still refuses to accept the results of the 2016 election. It is the same one who was spied on by the previous administration and who has been fighting bogus charges of Russian collusion, Ukrainian influence, and will now be evaluated to see if his brief bout of WuFlu can get him removed via the 25th amendments with the election 1 month away and his opponent is apparently (according to polls) way ahead while campaigning from his basement. In fact he must be running the cleanest administration in history given all the investigations that have resulted in no smoking guns or actual evidence of law-breaking, but no doubt a Biden administration will get back to the normal graft and corruption business of government that Trump has interfered with.

        • hank chinaski

          Not normalizing relations with Russia will be the missed foreign relations opportunity of our generation. The Soviets and Warsaw Pact are long dead and buried.

          The Chicoms have had a stronger negative impact on American citizens’ everyday lives than the Soviets ever did.

      • CJinSD

        George Soros spent more money on electing Albemarle County’s Police Chief than Russia spent meddling in the 2016 Presidential election. Barrack Obama openly meddled in Israel’s elections, and they’re supposed to be our ally. Anyone that takes the Democrats’ narrative seriously on Russian Collusion is an imbecile or a liar.

  1. arbuckle

    “Aaron points out that today’s bread-and-butter cars are pretty unenthusiastic, and he’s right. Yet that’s always been the case.”

    I kind of get what he means. For a long time nearly every mainstream car had a “sport upgrade” package that did at least something to the vehicle. From Galant Ralliart to Sentra SE-R to Taurus SHO to Cobalt SS to you get the idea. There are still a few things like that around, but it seems like it has become the exception and the ones that do exist seem to be on borrowed time.

    I know that these trims were almost never the top seller, but the world where something like the Grand Prix GXP, Lacrosse Super, and Impala SS could all exist at the same time is long gone.

    • stingray65

      Do we need “sport upgrade” packages when base Camrys and RAV4s are faster accelerating and corner harder than those Sentra SE-R or Cobalt SS of years ago – which incidentally very few people bought when they were available? I expect a well-optioned F-150 would also blow away the Taurus SHO without all the maintenance headaches and pain of having to drive a stick, which is why so few bought the original SHO and why so few have survived.

      I think it could be argued that today’s mainstream cars are total overkill in terms of their performance envelope since driver skills, street and road maintenance, and gridlock traffic have only gotten worse in recent years. Where exactly are most drivers going to use a sub-5 second 0-60 time, or a 1G+ skidpad figure (requiring $500 dollar tires that last 15,000 miles), especially when they seem more interested in the infotainment system and whether it is Apple Carplay compatible?

      • Arbuckle

        “Do we need “sport upgrade” packages when base Camrys and RAV4s are faster accelerating and corner harder”

        Total bunk. A Camry *XSE V6* is over 10 seconds slower than an ’08 Cobalt SS and 5 seconds slower than the older supercharged version. A base Camry would be even worse. And a base RAV4 isn’t dynamically impressive unless compared to something built before the Clinton administration. I know you’ve been around a long time so maybe 1976 is your baseline model year.


        So yes, I think we still need those packages. And modern “mainstream” stuff isn’t overkill.

        • Jack Baruth Post author

          I’d be super cautious using Lightning Lap for comparison purposes; there were ah many factors leading to each laptime.

          • arbuckle7809

            Do you think a base RAV4 would outperform a Cobalt SS turbo with equal drivers?

            If you do I’ll relent the argument and go buy a 4-cylinder CUV because nothing matters.

          • Jack Baruth Post author

            Not at all.

            That being said, the Cobalt SS Turbo is a genuine outlier among cars — until the Civic Type R appeared, the Turbo SS was probably still the fastest econobox around most tracks. They’re great cars and completely single-minded in execution.

          • NoID

            I think that’s Jack’s point. The LL times don’t really account for a multitude of variables, chief among them driver skill. To do so would offend the slowpokes, and we can’t be bruising any egos or pulling the curtain aside to expose these rags for the hacks they are, can we?

            For example…a certain prominent editor over at TTAC…DOESN’T. EVEN. OWN. A. CAR. I can understand now owning a daily driver if you’re always reviewing press vehicles, but good gawd almighty if that’s not the perfect excuse to instead have a small fleet of vehicles dedicated solely to enthusiast pursuits I don’t know what is. If you’re not filling that hole in the driveway or garage, I don’t know how I can trust you to be passionate and truthful about cars.

            Along the same vein, if your only no-holds-barred trip around a race course every year is a paid trek to VIR, I don’t trust you to provide a realistic appraisal of the cars you’re driving. Just because you take some coached or lead-follow laps at press events every few weeks doesn’t make you a hot shoe.

            I have worked for the performance arm of an OEM and I bleed enthusiasm for performance vehicles, but I would NOT trust my assessment of a performance car’s maximum abilities. Why? Because I’m far from equipped to wring that performance out, as it wasn’t my primary job and I don’t have a personal side gig doing that kind of thing. It’s on my bucket list and I’m starting to line up some opportunities to pursue it, but passion doesn’t equal proficiency.

            TL;DR – Lightning Lap is an entertaining joke, but still a joke.

          • CJinSD

            Even if all of the Lightening Laps are recorded by the same driver, track evolution is real. Suppose you start out with the cars that you expect to be slowest. They will certainly be the slowest if they end up sweeping the track and beginning the process of rubbering it in. When they get to the fast cars, what if one of them is on Bridgestones and the other top ten contenders are on the same model of Pilot? Would the cars on Michelins work better on the rubber laid down by other Michelins or would the one on Bridgestones? Comparing from one year to another is just without meaning. Barometric pressures will vary. Temperature variations impact engine power, aerodynamic drag, and tire behavior. Track surface condition changes drastically over time too.

          • Jack Baruth Post author

            It’s my understanding that Lightning Laps have worked like so for a long time:

            * The automakers send a pro driver.
            * The pro driver sets the time.
            * He then coaches the C/D dude as close to the time as he can manage.
            * Presto, Lightning Lap time, unless the C/D dude really duffed it, in which case
            * Pro driver time becomes lightning lap time.

            You can see the many and unique pitfalls at play here, particularly in a feature that has gone on for 15+ years now.

        • stingray65

          Sentra SE-R 0-60 were mid 7s, and Cobalt SS 0-60 is between 6 and low 7s depending on whether it is forced induction or not. RAV4 Prime is a mid 5 second, and the regular 4 cylinder version is low to mid 7 seconds. A 4 cylinder Camry is low 7 seconds, and sport versions (TRD or V-6) are mid to high 5 seconds. Case closed.

          • Arbuckle7808

            I don’t even dislike the Camry or anything. I like that it still offers the V6 and a few different mildly spicy trim option.
            I just fully disagree with the “A sporty trim buyer from 2008 is equally (or better!) served with a base RAV4” idea that he has.

            Enthusiast trim cars aren’t going away because CUVs are dynamically impressive. They are going away because the market attitude has changed.

          • stingray65

            I’m not a fan of the Camry for anything but A to B transportation, and I like performance cars and variants. At various times I’ve owned a CRX-Si, BMW 2002tii, BMW 318is, Austin Healey 3000, Corvette Stingray, and had seat time in many other sporty cars over the years, which were all a lot of fun in part because they were faster and better handling than most of their “transportation” contemporaries.

            Until the 1990s any car that could break the 10 second 0-60 run (especially when equipped with an automatic) was considered a fast car, and anything that could go under 7 seconds was a rocket ship. Thus my CRX-Si and 2002tii with just barely under 10 second capability felt quick when an automatic equipped Accord or 4 cylinder Cavalier were 13-15 second 0-60 cars. As I noted above, now you can get budget CUVs and mid-sized cars that are near 7 second capable with automatic shifting and all the heavy bells and whistles that modern drivers want without having to resort to buying the “performance” variant, and unlike the old days when it took a truly skilled driver with clutch and throttle and some vehicle abuse to match the “factory” times or better, today’s cars can often hit their factory times by simply mashing the throttle. 98% of car owners are more than satisfied with a 7 second 0-60 vehicle and will very rarely ever use that capability in their daily driving, so the incentive to pay extra for a 5 second performance variant is greatly reduced versus the old days when the regular version was a 14 second car, and the performance variant did 9.5.

  2. John C.

    I loved the review of the would be V12 Lexus. You really captured what it was like to read about a new Japanese car in the 90s in an “American” car magazine. You even got in how much the magazine resented having to be in Detroit. I wonder if the Japanese themselves had car magazines that better told the story of what what was being foisted upon them in the JDM. The way the big firms wielded so much power, surely the rebel at heart Japanese writer loathed them. Even if they liked a particular model, they would have many paragraphs to tell you how terrible the previous model was and how foolish it was to take a chance on a domestic. That couldn’t have only happened in the USA and the UK could it?

  3. Ronnie Schreiber

    To the folks who scoff at the idea that mass mail-in voting will have any problems I have one question, will you ever send cash in the mail?

    • stingray65

      The only people who scoff as mass mail-in voting problems are the Democrats who expect to benefit from mass mail-in voting problems. After all, why trust your low-information voters to actually show up at the polls and vote D across the board when you can have ballot harvesters who you can pay to make sure every ballot votes D across the board. Mail-in ballots are also the only way to reliably get out the dead and illegal vote blocks that the Democrats depend on to win elections.

    • Carmine

      There was a postal worker in Broward County FL that was busted after stealing few thou in gift cards and cash……so yeah, super trustworthy.

    • Dan

      Beyond the ease with which the Dems will cheat, crossing the current SJW party line will already get you fired. It may get your business set on fire. It isn’t a very big stretch from here to getting you literally fired upon. And you want to give them a Trump ballot with your name on it?

      I’d put a thousand bucks in the mail before I put a ballot in it.

  4. stingray65

    You raise some very good points Jack, but you miss the one important advantage that Republicans and Trump supporters have – the truth. For example, the Democrats promote the Green New Deal, but Republicans know the truth that renewable energy is expensive and unreliable and not very environmentally friendly either. Democrats think trangenderism is healthy and should be supported, but Republicans know the truth that transgenders are mentally ill and will absolutely dominate in female sports if allowed. Democrats believe that blacks are victims of systemic racism, but Republicans know the truth that the only systemic racism currently present in the US are affirmative action and racial quotas that promote unqualified people of color over qualified white (and “white” Asian) people.

    Democrats believe all problems can be best solved with more government, but Republicans have proof that government services by their nature are always low quality and expensive (see every Socialist country or Democrat dominated state/city for proof), and throwing more taxpayer money and regulations at problems only makes it worse and increases incentive for corruption and graft. Democrats want to replace police with social workers, but Republicans know from history in the 1960s that such action will lead to rampant crime and violence, especially in poor neighborhoods. Democrats think crime will disappear if they take away guns from citizens, but the Republicans truth is that such actions will mean that only outlaws and “racist” police will have guns. Democrats believe that men and women are identical in all ways and that disparate outcomes are due to discrimination and patriarchy, but Republicans know that science (and common sense) conclusively demonstrates genetic based differences between the TWO genders in their interests, personalities, and talents which explain almost all disparities in outcomes. Democrats believe that illegal residents should qualify for welfare, should be counted in the census, and should have the same (or better) Constitutional rights as citizens and legal residents, but Republicans know this is crazy.

    If the Democrats didn’t have the media, social media, celebrities, academia, and other crazy people on their side to spread and perpetuate the lies behind their belief system, they would lose every election by 99 to 1 margins because the truth is never on their side.

    • Newbie Jeff

      “You raise some very good points Jack, but you miss the one important advantage that Republicans and Trump supporters have – the truth”

      On this note, I’d like to plug a video that’s making the rounds on YT. I suggest you spend the 47 minutes to watch it before YT finds an excuse to ban it.

      The woman gives an honest testimony of what it’s like to be raised a Democrat, programmed with leftist ideology, and brainwashed with hatred of Republicans and conservatives. She finally couldn’t ignore the cognitive dissonance created by reality – the truth, as Stingray says – conflicting with the narrative of the American Left. Aside from her coherent reasoning, it’s her honest, down-to-earth delivery that makes quite an impact.


      BTW, if you’re liberal/progressive/left-leaning, I definitely suggest you watch as she explains a lot of the frustrations she had about the Democratic party abandoning liberalism.

    • tracktardicus

      Your delusional claim of every thing you say as “truth” is indicative of why this nation is now so divided, and you are no different than the nut jobs you despise on the far left. I’m guessing you either live in the country, or in some gated mcmansion community, and your ignorance is a result of that.
      Here are some facts regarding racism. I’ll look forward to how you dispute these facts with your sources from Fox News.


      • Newbie Jeff

        I’m not sure if this is directed at me or Stingray, but I’ll gladly respond…

        “Here are some facts regarding racism”

        First logical fallacy. The data is rather unscientific (that is, without the full context that is required to flesh this out) and thus saying it’s due to “racism” is misleading and illogical. A few points from the real world, not internet articles filled with Wokespeak to attract clicks:

        I’ve been in aviation for 18 years… the demographics of airline pilots are around 90% white and male. This disproportion doesn’t exist because anyone is racist… my company actively recruits minorities and females. They routinely hire minorities and females over vastly more qualified white male applicants. This has gone on for decades in the airline industry. Additionally, women and minorities have a number of flight training/career networking opportunities geared specifically towards them… while I had to take out loans like the rest of my buddies and try to network through real world work experience. Yet, the pilot groups still remain at 90% white male.. that data may be accurate, but can you really say it’s due to “racism”?

        I also have a family member who works in education. There are numerous race-based/affirmative action policies and programs… so many, in fact, that I can’t cover them all… but here are a couple: my family member authored a grant from the Dept of Ed to train Special Education teachers (this would pay an applicant’s tuition and pay a stipend)… it required 50% of applicants to be minorities, with a further financial incentive at 75% minority enrollment. The effect was that a huge group of white applicants competed for half the slots, while the university had to try to find minorities for the other half of the slots… Additionally, this university pays minority faculty a 10% “retention bonus” over white peers. This effectively means the university pays black faculty extra for being black… sounds like an injustice to me, but probably not the type of injustice the American Left is interested in…

        The Democrats are embracing identity politics for one reason, and one reason only: political relevance. They can’t compete with Republicans on policy that actually makes the lives of EVERY American better, or else places like California, New York and Illinois would be inundated with domestic migrants like Texas, Florida, and Tennessee. So Democrats have to make it about race… and thus while they complain about Trump is “so mean racist divisive!”, Democrats have divided Americans by every conceivable demographic that their partisan instigators can invent, i.e. race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and every possible “intersection” of those. Democrats have driven their party platform off the cliff into the ideological abyss, and have taken millions of useful idiots with them who think they’re “fighting racism”. This is why you see the complete breakdown of society in places where Democrats have unilateral control… the real world consequences of such radical ideology in government.

        And look, I get it… you’ve been rendered profoundly stupid by the Democratic party’s social justice strategy to stay relevant, as is the intended result. You’re judgemental, hateful, manipulated and self-righteous as you accuse others of literally the exact same thing. But no hard feelings, eventually the education of life experience will sort it out for you… it just takes a while longer for some people.

        • tracktardicus

          This was directed at stingray. And this is not a staunch democrat responding to die-hard republican. The point I am making is not due to my political party membership. Jeff, your logical fallacy is that somehow you relate the Money article’s findings to “the Democratic party’s social justice strategy.” I have leaned to the right my whole life (smaller government, states rights.) But the things I see every day coupled with scientific research findings that contradict virtually everything that the right espouses lead me to conclude that there are fundamental reasons why persons of color do not have the same advantages that white people do.
          What is your justification that the data is unscientific? All of the statistics in the Money article stem from scientific research studies from diverse sources. Please post some scientific findings to the contrary and I will be willing to reconsider my position. Otherwise, you fall into the same category of ignorance as stingray, and I and anyone else capable of critical thinking will dismiss your argument as fallacious and uninformed.
          Your example of the airline pilot demographics is very small sample size of what we are talking about. But if I am a minority and I take out a student loan to go to school to become a pilot, my interest rates are on average higher that white students. Minorities default on their student loans at a higher rate than whites. Minorities on average do not have access to better public schools with STEM/college prep courses that better prepare them to be a pilot.
          But let’s use a better example: The U.S. military. During my time as a Marine, I never saw any incidents of racism, and from my perspective minorities were not discriminated against for promotions. That is not to say there is not discrimination in the military, but it happens less often than in the public sector. Perspective is key, and from my perspective yours is pretty narrow.
          Let’s talk about your education example. I am in complete agreement in meritocracy: The best person for the job regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. And I concede that affirmative action policies can be misguided. But what is the root cause?
          Let’s look at the example of the minority CEO of a tech startup in Silicon Valley in search of venture capital. Highly educated, with strong credentials and a proven product, why is it that when he walks into a board room, it’s usually a white member of his finance team that is approached and assumed to be the CEO?
          If that happens in one of the most progressive states in the Union, at the highest levels of corporate tech, how do you think it is for minorities the rest of the workplace?
          My argument has nothing to do with whether you and stingray are left or right-leaning, Republican or Democrat. And you further reduce your credibility by automatically assuming I’m a democrat and I come by my opinion from their strategy, calling me and those like me stupid. If you can make a compelling argument that implicit racism is a fallacy, backed up with facts, I will accept that I am ignorant, but not stupid.

          • Jack Baruth Post author

            Just sticking my oar in the water here — social science is not science, not as we know it. It doesn’t follow the scientific method. It’s largely a matter of proposing a hypothesis then shopping for data that support the hypothesis. This applies regardless of whether the findings are “left wing” or “right wing”. For every study that shows that minorities pay higher student loan, there’s a lawsuit over the fact that a white kid with a 1600 SAT gets turned away from schools that accept minorities with a 1050. For every well-supported allegation of social discrimination against African-Americans, there’s FBI crime data showing that inter-race crime is virtually a one-way street, with Euro-Americans on the receiving end.

            The Holy Grail of modern social science is a Grand Unified Theory that somehow explains how all the races are of precisely equal intellectual merit while simultaneously allowing for a worldview in which Europeans are morally inferior, Asians are harder-working, and African-Americans are athletically superior — oh, and it has to include race as both nothing but a social construct and something that is absolutely inflexible — e.g. Caitlyn Jenner is not mentally ill but Rachel Dolezal is.

            The net effect of all this garbage is to make people consciously think in terms of race. I lived in Columbia, MD back in 1980. My best friend was my black neighbor. We never had a single conversation about race. I never thought about him being black and me being white, any more than I thought about my friend Tom Kilbane being Irish while I was German. I bet that doesn’t happen now. We program today’s kids that every conversation starts and ends with race.

          • tracktardicus

            Thanks for your input. A well-run and peer-reviewed social study differs in only one respect: A lack of a lab experiment with concrete results that either supports or disproves the hypothesis.
            After reviewing the examples cited in the article I mentioned, every one appears to have been conducted with academic rigor. For example, an excerpt from “Minorities Who Whiten Job Resumes Get More Interviews:”

            “We investigate résumé whitening by combining qualitative and experimental approaches.
            First, we qualitatively explore how and why individuals engage in résumé whitening by
            conducting in-depth interviews with racial minority university students who are about to enter
            the job market. The interviews shed light on why minority job seekers engage in résumé
            whitening at the earliest stages of the job application process before their minority status would become obvious to employers (e.g., at an in-person interview). Second, we build on our qualitative findings by conducting a laboratory experiment to examine how job seekers change their résumés in response to different job postings. Third, we report results from a résumé audit study that explores how employers respond to whitened and unwhitened résumés. These three approaches are complementary. The interviews provide fine-grained qualitative insights into the nature of résumé whitening.”
            I understand your point that it is easy for researchers to go and find data that supports their specific hypotheses. You can go and find examples of both scientific and social experiments published that turn out to be rubbish. But I would hope that a majority of published work is peer reviewed and edited for confirmation-biased data before publication.

          • tracktardicus

            And I have to add: When I was a kid, I was racist. My father was racist. When I was maybe 8 years old, I called a black kid who was older and much larger than I was a racial slur, and he proceeded to beat the crap out of me.
            When I grew up, I learned that the only difference between white and black people is skin color. If by a difference of geography the African diaspora was instead the Northern Europe/Scandinavian diaspora, history would have run its course the same way, with white people being in the minority.
            You were fortunate that you were raised to not see color. It’s fact that children do not see differences between races until they are nurtured to do so, as I was.
            The problem is there are still a significant number of Americans who continue to see people who are different than they are as a threat or inferior well into their adulthood. And until those Americans either die off or become an insignificant minority and the statistics I referenced reach some semblance of balance, we will continue have the same conversation about race.

          • Jack Baruth Post author

            “When I grew up, I learned that the only difference between white and black people is skin color. ”

            Is that really so? There’s almost no science to even suggest that. Paleontologists regularly classify bones by race. There are probably a dozen physical differences between, say, Han Chinese and members of the Luo tribe from whence Barack Obama’s father sprang. Heck, just driving around Europe for a week you quickly get a sense of the different European ethnic groups that has nothing to do with how they dress or act.

            I firmly believe that we are all equal in God’s sight, and we are all of equal moral worth. As for the rest of it, there’s obviously a genetic lottery that is won differently by different people. John Derbyshire made a lot of people angry when he pointed out that there has never been a Black winner of the Fields Medal, but he is correct in that statement. Similarly, there has been just one white winner of the NBA Slam Dunk contest in 44 years. I doubt you can blame either of these facts on systematic racism. The finest long-distance runners are all genetically close, as are all of the finest strongman-contest contenders — but the two groups are drastically different.

            Sometimes it’s cultural; there have been plenty of first-rate Black BMX riders, including multiple world champions and X-Games winners, but their representation is less than their share of the generation population. There are some great “bikelife” riders who happen to be white, but they are in the minority.

            I think it’s a fool’s errand trying to prove that there is no difference in physical or mental capacity whatsoever across the entire human race. Finns are apparently the smartest Europeans overall but they have very few Nobel winners; there’s a (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0160289614000920) genetic reason for that. If you can draw out differences between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews — and you can — you can probably draw out differences between Europeans, Africans, and Asians. But the people who “fucking love science” aren’t going to want to hear about it.

        • Newbie Jeff

          Jack: “social science is not science, not as we know it. It doesn’t follow the scientific method”

          …aaand Jack saves me 30-45 minutes of typing out a response… he’s pretty much got it from here.

          Track-tard: No hard feelings. I worked with Marines when deployed with the Army, and will always have a lot of respect for any current and former Marine. Maybe just consider the possibility that all of this recent hysteria about race might have more to do with political convenience than trying to actually address any issues.

  5. NoID

    Probably not the most useful takeaway, but don’t you mean “anything short” of a landslide victory?

    I had the fortune to share a garage in Arizona with the McLaren team for a week about a year and a half ago as they were testing the GT, and I could tell then that it was something special. It’s certainly one of the few modern supercars I would venture to call beautiful. Boy, if I could write an article about that week without losing my job it would be a great story, quite a juxtaposition of purposes between our team and theirs, but all in pursuit of technical superiority and the emotional high that comes from creating something breathtakingly excellent.

    I suppose it would be a great story whether I lost my job or not, but certainly not worth the price.

      • NoID

        I’m sure by then the details will be lost to time and my addled memory. What I should have been doing during that period of my career is journaling, because the current phase of my career is not nearly as exciting. I haven’t broken a vehicle in over a year!

  6. hank chinaski

    With the recent judgements in PA and MI regarding mail-in, it’s a given that they will try to steal those states 1960 IL style if the results are remotely close. Hanging chads will be a fond memory. Z did some interesting comparisons to previous elections in his Friday piece.

    I’d have more sympathy for the Donald if almost every key person he appointed (or refused to fire) didn’t stab him in the back or at least sandbag him. Keep tweeting, though.

    And I’ll say it. Kamala is an obnoxious, insufferable, smug twat. There are many reasons she didn’t even make it to Iowa and she’ll have a pillow over Joe’s face the day after inauguration.

    • Newbie Jeff

      “I’d have more sympathy for the Donald if almost every key person he appointed (or refused to fire) didn’t stab him in the back or at least sandbag him. Keep tweeting, though”

      Spot on assessment, but I think there’s a reason for this… it’s simply that “the swamp” is too big for any one person to maneuver through it and then escape its muck, even from the Oval Office. Its failings – and its power – are in its monstrous bureaucracy, and Swamp Rats are going to serve their bureaucracy before the rest of us get anything out of it… regardless of who the American people sent there. Add on top of this a media that set out to destroy anyone in Trump’s orbit, good or bad – Manafort, Flynn, Cohen, etc – and the message to anyone who has the slightest initiative to serve in the Trump administration is clear: you’re risking everything.

      I’m also not particularly fond of Trump’s Twitter presence, but I think in this context, sometimes the ONLY thing Trump could do is tweet about it… then maybe pressure gets exerted somewhere to get curious about it. Either way, it would take a generation of Trump (Ivanka, Don Jr.) administrations to purge enough Swamp Rats to any appreciably positive effect – and I’ll be honest and say I probably wouldn’t be comfortable with that, either.

      Good comments on KH… I’ll hand it to the DNC, they played it beautifully. It’s funny how many people intending to vote for Joe Biden think they’re actually voting for Joe Biden.

      • lynnwgardnerusa@aol.com

        Newbie Jeff,
        You hit the nail on the head when you said “it would take a generation of Trump administrations to purge enought Swamp Rats to any appriciabley positive effect”. Having seen the swamp rats at work up close, you can only see the tip of the iceburg from out in the real America. Begining in the early part of the last century layer upon layer of interdependence has been built up in the nations capital that will never give up without a fight, and they fight dirty. Major corportations pay the “dues’ to the inside players that “look out for their interest”. Various assocations make sure that their interest are looked after by providing “donations” and “grants” to specific political parties depending on which way the political winds are blowing. Young ivy league graduates come and live 8 or 10 to a 2BR apartment to be “staffers’ to congressional offices and then after a few years move into mid six digit salaried jobs with verious “lobbying firms”.
        In addition said “lobbying firms’ are awash with defeated US House members (funny that almost 100% of defeated congressmen never return to their home states, the money is just to good in DC). You get the idea, Washington DC was once refered to the biggest small town in America, the idea being that everyone knows everyone. Well they do, the power players that is. The real power players all live in NW DC which is about as far from the real DC as East LA is from Brentwood. A teardown in NW can cost several million dollars and I am not even talking about the part of NW called Kalorama where Barack, Jeff Bezos, and Jared and Ivanka have a little $20M place. Or they live in McLean VA where homes sell for $60M along the Potomac or you can get an origianl 1950’s rancher for just over one million dollars and tear it down.
        The swamp creatures have a vested interest in keeping the good times rolling. Trump was the only one in a generaton or two to call it out and the swamp creatures are really pissed off. Where do you think Biden is getting the $100’s of millions of dollars pouring in to his coffers. Trump and his followers are a threat to the go along, get along, and get ahead, that is mine set of the swamp. The swamp has always worked with Democrats and Republicans because both are intergated into the swamp. Trump was an outside threat and they have responded. This China virus was a god send to them and they are taking full advantage. Anyway I am not saying anything that you most likely don’t already know it is just the way it is.

  7. DR Smith

    Yes, how can it be that seemingly everyone is for the one “RIght” pick that everyone knows will will, should will yet they also are saying out of the other side of their mouth “….do ot conceded” and also are game planning actual military style coup like the US of A has been transported to South America, Africa, or the Middle East. Whatever are the really afraid of anyway? It is as if they are all cartoon viliians aka Dr. Claw on the Inspector Gadget series – “‘next time Trumpf, next time!!!!!”

    That being said, my prediction is that the wrong candidate will win again, and it will be by a Regan type landslide. This will prevent a too obvious offical coup by the courts & the military, but the unoffical coup that has been going on for 4 years will continue in earnest. Which of curse since the current POTUS will have a clear mandate and the courts on his side, will crack down with even more restrictions on freedoms, more government over reach and oversite, more spying on Americans, etc, etc. Me thinks this is all too conveient, too arranged…..the left on one side, all cartoon villianish, and Trump riding in on a White horse to save the country. No, the more I think about this, the more it seems like the mostly modertae middle class people who just wnat to be left alone and live their lives are caught in a giant pincer movment between two sides serving the same (dishonest) purpose of moving USA towards democratic socailism and the the dreaded one world government.

    Want to know what is really scary….some really far right crackpot names Hal Turner has bascially said the USA has a new stratery for nuclear weapons, to the lines of doing away with MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) doctrine to one that calls for a first strike of Russia and/or China with 50% fatality rates for USA citizens. Think about that for one second if that was even remotely true, and tell me why the sudden change of tatics (if true) and then tell me there is not a move about for the one world government formation where 99% of whoever is left everywhere would be serfs to the ruling 1%, just like it was in the middle ages. Why else would there be for a first strike nuclear conflcit except to basically change the course of history for the human race?

    So, yes, go ahead and vote – just relaize you aren’t really making a change or selection, it has already been made for you, and inseatd of worrying about how unfair it all is prepare for “interesting” times instead.

  8. ChrisF


    The article you wrote about your neighbor that checked out – any chance you could email it to me? One of my favorite pieces of writing ever and it isn’t up anymore.

  9. Guns and Coffee

    I apologize for my tardiness to this blog entry. I was scrolling through the comments, and my mind processed it all like this: politics, politics, politics, oh, hey, cars. Cars, Cars, and damn back to politics again. I follow politics closer than is good for me, and don’t follow cars as much as I should.

    I’d like to return to the cars topic one more time to bitch about cars in the real world. I scanned the above, and there were plenty of arguments about sport trims, acceleration data, track times, driver ability, how much car does the average person need for their commute, and so on. I do not have the answer to any of these arguments, but I will offer this unscientific observation. No-one should be allowed to drive a car with “dual exhaust” protruding from the rear bumper of a mid size sedan without completing some sort of driving test. Nothing hard, just simply express and demonstrate the proclivity to occasionally depress the longish pedal on the right ALL THE WAY TO THE FLOOR BOARD, or even 3/4’s of the way. Its one thing to be stuck behind your average car at 40 mph on the freeway in an otherwise clear lane, because their could be a lack of horsepower. When the offending driver is behind the wheel of a “sport model anything” or god forbid an actual “performance anything” the negative psychological effects are sufficient to make me wonder if I am the actual problem in this circumstance.

    • sgeffe

      My thoughts exactly! What is the purpose of someone buying a vehicle with any performance intentions or pretensions, and yet said vehicle will never exceed the underposted, randomly-chosen numbers on a sign!

      As Jack can probably relate, the speed limit is probably the only traffic law followed by the general Ohio populace, especially on the freeway system, thanks to the reputation of the Ohio Highway Patrol! For years, though, their maxim seems to have shifted to “nine [over] you’re fine, ten you’re mine!” Yet at least in the northwest corner of the state (Toledo), a percentage of the populace would probably unquestionably follow the directions on a sign if “Jump Off This Bridge,” and not a speed limit, was posted upon it!


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